Russell Crowe became a viral hit over the holiday weekend after posting a takedown of a Twitter user who tagged the actor in a criticism of the 2003 sea epic “Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World.” Directed by Peter Weir and released by 20th Century Fox, “Master and Commander” stars Crowe as Captain Jack Aubrey in an adaptation of author Patrick O’Brian’s Aubrey–Maturin historical novel series. Crowe did not agree with a Twitter user’s sentiment that the film was helpful in getting viewers to fall asleep.
“Lots of folk complaining about lack of sleep during the Pandemic,” a Twitter user wrote. “May I recommend ‘Master and Commander’ starring the usually captivating, attention-grabbing Russell Crowe. I’ve never made it past the ten minute mark. You’re welcome. And thanks Russell.”
Crowe was tagged in the message and issued the following response: “That’s the problem with kids these days. No focus. Peter Weir’s film is brilliant. An exacting, detail oriented, epic tale of fidelity to Empire & service, regardless of the cost. Incredible cinematography by Russell Boyd & a majestic soundtrack. Definitely an adults movie.”
Anticipation for “Master and Commander” in 2003 was sky high as it followed in the footsteps of “Gladiator” and “A Beautiful Mind,” two dramas that won the Oscar for Best Picture and picked up Best Actor nominations for Crowe — with Crowe winning for “Gladiator.” Critical reviews for “Master and Commander” did not reach the heights of these Crowe-starring predecessors, nor was the film the box office hit needed to start an intended film franchise around O’Brian’s literary series (the movie grossed $211 million worldwide on a production budget north of $100 million). Despite being considered a box office disappointment, “Master and Commander” picked up 10 Oscar nominations (including Best Picture and Best Director) and won the Academy Awards for Best Sound Editing and Best Cinematography.
Crowe has long wanted to make a sequel to “Master and Commander,” memorably using Twitter in December 2010 to urge fans to ensure Fox knew about the demand for a follow-up feature. Crowe wrote on social media at the time, “If you want a ‘Master and Commander’ sequel I suggest you e-mail Tom Rothman at Fox and let him know your thoughts.”
Now that Fox is owned by Disney, it seems unlikely a “Master and Commander” sequel will ever go into production. Crowe’s most recent film, “Unhinged,” open in theaters last summer.
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